Ad Blocking – The End of Digital Advertising?

What is Ad Blocking?

Ad blocking is a relatively new technology used to block ads before they load on your browser. This often saves bandwidth and will load the page more quickly. It has increased in popularity among internet users, almost 30% using it. The following are main reasons why internet users often utilize ad blocking applications:

  • People don’t want to be manipulated by advertising
  • Online advertising can impose a security risk
  • Advertising often uses heavy graphics that slow page loading
  • Advertising is annoying

 

Is it damaging?

The ability to block ads has an obvious appeal to internet users; but what does it mean for advertisers?  One estimation shows that almost $20 billion of ad revenue will be lost by the end of 2015. This can be terrible news for advertisers relying heavily on digital advertising. But, do customers suffer from any consequences?

Ad block users may not realize that it could ultimately lead to some frustrating results. For example, if such advertisements were to disappear from streaming services like Hulu or social media outlets like Facebook, users would no longer be able to use the services for free.  Would you want to pay $15 to use Facebook?

Interestingly, this concept transfers across mediums to print. Advertisers pay publications to have their ads placed; the publications then use this revenue, like Hulu, to supply quality content to their readers. What would happen if these advertisers were blocked or disappeared from publications? Generally speaking, advertisers tend to steer clear already from free publications because they consider the content to be lower quality than a publication that can pay for its talent. Whether online or print, advertising clearly effects the type of content available to consumers.

 

How will it evolve?

As an advertiser, ad blocking may have you running for the hills; but you shouldn’t yet. Many companies have partnered with advertisers to ensure that ads are still seen as these companies still need and/or want the revenue brought in by advertisers. Hulu, for instance, will not allow you to stream videos unless ads are enabled. Many websites will not let you access their content unless you disable your ad blocking extension. Millenialls, however, are notorious for their disinterest in advertisements. This means more people will find more ways around online advertisement. Will online advertisement become a thing of the past? Only time will tell. For now, though, companies are certainly showing their support in taking such actions as the above to ensure continued partnerships with advertisers.